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Alumni Spotlight by Callie Kozak

Inspired by Clinton High School, Odamtten Sisters Thrive in Their Communities

By Callie Kozak

Indira and Yom Odamtten both attended Clinton High School (CHS). Now, they are working to help others. Indira Odamtten-Martell is an attorney who works pro-bono for the Kids In Need of Defense (KIND) organization in Washington, D.C. Yom Odamtten-Fox teaches history, is Interim Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and Director of Community and Global Partnerships at the Dalton School in New York City. These sisters are making a difference in their communities, and it all began at Clinton. 

Graduating from CHS in 1996, Indira Odamtten-Martell attended Scripps College in California as an Art Photography major and French minor. Martell graduated from Scripps in 2000 and made the spontaneous decision to take the LSAT with a friend of hers. After completing the LSAT, and scoring higher than her friend, Martell decided to attend law school and work in Art Law. Indira Martell’s ambition to promote fair treatment for people in need, guided her to enter the law field and pursue a career outside of art. 

Martell moved back to Clinton after graduating from George Washington University Law School in 2003 and began working for the Felt-Evans Law Firm located on Park Row. After gaining experience in Clinton, she returned to Washington, D.C. and worked in a few firms before acquiring a position at William and Connolly LLP, where she currently works.

Through William and Connolly, Indira Martell has partnered with the KIND organization to provide pro-bono services. This organization arranges legal representation to refugee and immigrant children seeking protection in the United States. Acquiring an attorney as a minor in the U.S. is a struggle. This hardship led Martell to tackle these types of cases. She firmly believes that everyone deserves legal representation. 

Yom Odamtten-Fox graduated from Clinton High School in 2000. She also attended Scripps College, majoring in Multicultural Studies, and receiving a joint major in History, Psychology, and Sociology. Fox graduated from Scripps in 2004 and began her teaching career at Kent Denver School in Cherry Hills Village, Colorado. After teaching for one year in Colorado, Fox went back to school to receive her master’s degree from Columbia University, in Teaching Social Studies. Fox graduated from Columbia in 2006 and taught at Kingswood Oxford School in Connecticut for two years. There, she taught history, English, modern world, and African American literature courses. Returning to Columbia University to receive another master’s in Education Leadership, Fox graduated in 2009 and accepted her current teaching position at the Dalton School in New York City. 

Fox is ready for a change and eager to take on a new leadership role at Georgetown Day School (GDS) in Washington, D.C. She has accepted a position as High School Principal. Thrilled to make a difference in this new school, Fox hopes to work with GDS faculty and students to create their own “cool community” and reach their full potential.

The time that both Martell and Fox spent in Clinton has shaped them and their careers. Creating their own, unique superlatives with classmates, is one of Indira Martell’s fondest memories at CHS. Martell was voted “most likely to be a used car salesperson”, which she often thinks of with laughter. Making up individual superlatives seemed almost radical for the time, which made it even more enjoyable. 

Yom Fox remembers having great interactions with students and teachers at CHS. She recalls relaxing between classes with her friends and spending a lot of time with Mrs. Carbone,  one of her favorite teachers. She often said, “One test on one day does not define the person you are, or the person you are going to be.” This sentiment expressed by Mrs. Carbone has shaped Fox’s teaching career. Additionally, having a high school class that was very close and accepting of each other, framed her outlook on teaching and leadership. She has remained close with many of her friends, and their wonderful memories in this small town have made a lasting impression. 

Both Martell and Fox like to visit Clinton as often as possible to escape the pace of hectic city life. Fox enjoys bringing her children to the area for a vacation every summer. Bonomo’s Dari Creme is their favorite destination for ice cream. Other points of interest include the farmers market in the Village Green, the Waterville Standard Bakery, and the Blue Moon Stable Farm. Both sisters appreciate slowing down in Clinton for a getaway once in a while. 

Indira Martell and Yom Fox spent their formative years in Clinton. They greatly appreciate their teachers and classmates who made high school a memorable and enjoyable experience. 

Indira Odamtten-Martell
Photo by Sarah Billingsley

 

Yom Odamtten-Fox
Photo by Danny Stock